LOWER TRESTLES, California/USA (Saturday, September 11, 2010) – Swell forecasts are looking promising as the greatest assemblage of surfing talent in history descend upon one of the most high-performance waves on the planet for the Hurley Pro at Trestles, running from September 12 – 18, 2010.
Event No. 6 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Hurley Pro at Trestles will host the newly-minted ASP Top 34 as they battle for points, prestige at the highly-coveted ASP World Title.
Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22, current ASP World No. 1, has been the standout throughout the first half of the season, blending a near-unparalleled brand of power surfing amidst a full repertoire of progressive aerials. The Hurley Pro at Trestles will be the inaugural event to utilize the ASP’s 36-man competition format (see below), but the South African maintains that his focus will remain the same.
“The dynamics of the tour will definitely change (following last week’s midyear field reduction) but I am approaching the last five events the same as the first five – just have fun,” Smith said. “At the beginning of the year, I told myself that if I went out and had fun and relaxed in heats, my surfing would be at the level I wanted it to be. I’m happy with where I’m at and looking forward to the next events.”
Despite a stumble in Tahiti, finishing Equal 17th, Smith has been supernaturally consistent in 2010 and remains one of the favorites throughout the back half of the year.
“I felt confident in Tahiti and was unlucky not to get the waves against Manoa (Drollet),” Smith said. “These next few events at Trestles and through Europe, I feel very strong at. Kelly (Slater) and Taj (Burrow) and everyone are strong at these events so it’s going to make the ASP World Title Race interesting. I have some really great boards at the moment and hopefully we can get some swell for the event.”
Smith will face Kai Otton (AUS), 30, and Rob Machado (USA), 36, in the opening round of the Hurley Pro Trestles.
Kelly Slater (USA), 38, past nine-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 2, is a veritable threat at every venue on tour, currently sits a mere 250 points behind frontrunner Smith and well within striking distance of an unprecedented 10th ASP World Title.
“It definitely gives a goal to work towards,” Slater said. “In past years, the point structure would have had my results in first place with a 3rd and 9th compared to Jordy’s two 5ths, and the remainder of our placings would equal. Just makes you have to work a bit harder and stay focused. Certain places favor certain guys, but it’s a totally new year and past achievements don’t count.”
The past several years have seen the iconic Floridian experimenting with various equipment, consistently pushing the boundaries of high-performance surfing. With the long walls of Lower Trestles acting as the ideal canvas, and Slater’s equipment finalized, the millions around the world could be in for a spectacular show.
“I’m pretty locked into what I’m riding now,” Slater said. “I was searching for new feeling over the last two years, but I think I’m pretty settled for now. Lowers is one of the easiest waves on Earth to bring out your potential so we’ll see everyone surfing well I’m sure.”
Slater will battle Luke Stedman (AUS), 34, and Kolohe Andino (USA), 16, in Round 1 of competition.
Jeremy Flores (FRA), 22, current ASP World No. 19, is coming off a career-best resultt (Equal 3rd in Tahiti) and will look to continue the momentum through California and Europe.
“All good for now as I’m so happy with the 3rd in Tahiti,” Flores said. “It has been a while since I’ve gotten a result. I’ve done well at Trestles in the past so hopefully I get in the rhythm again this year.”
Like most surfers, the young Frenchman is eager to prove his worth amidst the near perfection of the Trestles venue and the swell forecast looking promising, is excited to enhance his ASP World Title Race ranking before year’s end.
“Trestles is probably the funnest wave in the world in terms of turns,” Flores said. “I think this year will be interesting with all the big airs! My surfing has been good there so far. Hopefully we get some good waves with size. I concentrate on my surfing, I’m trying to improve more and find my right quiver that suits me well. I’m trying to surf as many good waves as possible and we’ll see where that takes me at the end of the year.”
Flores will take on Bede Durbidge (AUS), 27, and Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 21, in the opening round of the Hurley Pro at Trestles.
For the first time in the history of the sport, the ASP will unveil its new 36-man format at the Hurley Pro Trestles.
ASP WORLD TOUR 36-MAN FORMAT:
Round 1: 12 three-man heats, 1st advances to Round 3, 2nd and 3rd to Round 2
Round 2: 12 man-on-man heats, 1st to Round 3, 2nd is Equal 25th place
Round 3: 12 man-on-man heats, 1st to Round 4, 2nd is Equal 13th place
Round 4: Four 3-man heats, 1st advances to Quarterfinals, 2nd and 3rd to Round 5
Round 5: Four man-on-man heats, 1st advances to Quarterfinals, 2nd is Equal 9th
Quarterfinals: Four man-on-man heats, 1st advances to Semifinals, 2nd is Equal 5th
Semifinals: Two man-on-man heats, 1st advances to Finals, 2nd is Equal 3rd
Final: One man-on-man heat, 1st and 2nd
Surfline, official forecasters for the Hurley Pro Trestles, are currently tracking several promising systems that could be set to deliver good waves throughout the event.
When competition commences, up first will be Dane Reynolds (USA), 25, Chris Davidson (AUS), 33, and Luke Munro (AUS), 27, in Heat 1 Round 1 of the Hurley Pro at Trestles.
Event organizers will convene tomorrow morning at 7am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start.
The Hurley Pro Trestles will be webcast LIVE via http://www.hurley.com/hurleypro/
The event will also be broadcast LIVE on FUEL TV in Australia. Check out http://www.foxsports.com.au/fueltv for details.
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
HURLEY PRO TRESTLES ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Dane Reynolds (USA), Chris Davidson (AUS), Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS), Taylor Knox (USA), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS), Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Kai Otton (AUS), Rob Machado (USA)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA), Luke Stedman (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 7: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 8: Bobby Martinez (USA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 9: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Jadson Andre (BRA), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 10: Andy Irons (HAW), Tiago Pires (PRT), Tom Whitaker (AUS)
Heat 11: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Owen Wright (AUS), Roy Powers (HAW)
Heat 12: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Damien Hobgood (USA), Kieren Perrow (AUS)